Friday, 26 November 2010


Fury builds over policing
Thursday 25 November 2010

by Lizzie Cocker, Morning Star

Police tactics used against student protesters on Wednesday were condemned as "outrageous and unacceptable yesterday by anti-cuts groups the Coalition of Resistance and National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC).

An estimated 130,000 school, college and university students across Britain participated in the day of action, which saw protesters in London -some as young as 13 - pressed into an area at Whitehall for almost nine hours without access to food, water or toilet facilities.

During a press conference which attracted national and international press, University of London Union president Clare Solomon said that it was "unbelievable that the police do not know the law themselves. Collective punishment was outlawed at the Nuremberg tribunal."

A number of protesters were also badly injured after police beat them with batons and one was reportedly trampled by police on horseback who unexpectedly charged at a crowd of about 1,000 protesters.

Joanna Pinto of the NCAFC described how a friend was badly beaten by police after trying to alert them to potential danger. And Ms Solomon revealed that footage of one young boy being so brutally attacked by one officer that his colleagues had to drag him away is expected to be sent to the media.

Simon Hardy of NCAFC urged the Metropolitan police to "change their tactics for further demonstrations."

With 16 universities still occupied today, representatives of both organisations insisted that direct action and demonstrations would "escalate," beginning with a third wave of nationwide protests next Tuesday which would gain the support of many of Wednesday's protesters.

Further mass mobilisations are highly likely on the day that tuition fees are voted on in Parliament, which is likely to be within weeks.

Speaking about of the Coalition of Resistance founding conference on Saturday, Feyzi Ismail, a student who is involved in the latest SOAS university occupation, said: "If you are going to spend £20 billion on the war, if you are going to spend £75 billion on Trident, you are lowering corporation tax and not collecting tax from the rich - we are asking: Where are your priorities?

"This is about what we value in society. You are cutting education, but this is a right not a privilege. We are shifting the debate and more people are on our side against the cuts."

Continuing the pressure on the Lib Dems, around 45 LSE and LSB university students were blockading the offices of party deputy leader Simon Hughes today as the Star went to press.

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